Okay, so I didn’t truly “forget,” but with life being crazy from one moment to the next, I would remember in spurts during the day, then have a panic attack each night because I STILL didn’t get him anything yet. So this week, I threw in the towel. I adore those custom BBQ tools, the picture blankets, the Apple watches…but they take time, planning, money. All of which, frankly, I just don’t have right now. I also kind of hate ties, work shirts and the “I love you dad!” frames that you can spend $1 on or $100 on and they all look the same.
So, I did what any creative mother would do. I went to Pinterest.
Dear Lord. Don’t do it. Pages and pages…and pages of cute ideas. You will quickly be distracted or overwhelmed or both. But it’s okay. I’ll save you. I’ve compiled a list of the cutest, easiest, and fastest Father’s Day gifts that you can truly do last minute, and still want to keep. In order from fastest to slowest, easiest to hardest, here you go. You’re welcome!
1) Daddy’s Boots
I’m sure you’ve seen this, or versions of this, multiple times. But it doesn’t mean it’s not stupid cute! It’s quick, easy, and you’ll most definitely want to hang it.
Have your kiddo stand in daddy’s boots or shoes and take a picture. Print it off at Target (because you can buy the frame there too) along with this little poem. You can copy and paste this poem and put in ON the photo with free websites like Canva or PicMonkey, or even just using a phone app like WordSwag or SnapNote (which is also online).
I love to wear my daddy’s shoes
though my feet are small.
When they are in my daddy’s shoes
I feel 10 feet tall!
Someday I’ll grow to fill them,
and I only hope to be
as fine a man
& great a Dad
As my Daddy is to me!
You can also make a fun background, and put the photo and poem in a side by side frame. Have all of your kids wear a different pair of daddy’s shoes and put them all in the same picture if you have more than one kid. That way, you’re not worried about space, just a good picture.
2) The Sequence Frame
Photographers use this trick all the time. It’s cute, it’s easy, and it makes a big impact. Figure out the phrase you want to say first (“I love you!” or “Daddy is the Best!” or “Best! Daddy! Ever!”) and then figure out how to split the phrase. If you have four kids and just want to say “I Love You!” add a “Daddy” on the end. Get two sheets of white poster board from the dollar store, a thick black sharpie, and a pencil. Also grab any decor the kids deem necessary.
Cut each poster board in half. Draw with the pencil the outline of one word on each half sheet. Once you like the way it looks, after inevitable erasing and redrawing the word, trace the final outline with the thick sharpie for a wide outline. Let the kids go wild decorating only the word. You may need to remind them of the importance of staying in the lines here…
Now, from oldest to youngest or vice versa, have each kid hold one word and take a picture. Take both vertical and horizontal shots of each, because nothing sucks more than printing them off and not finding a frame that works because you didn’t realize they ONLY had horizontal frames this week.
3) The Dad Book
This one takes a bit of time, and the children need to be able to write, or at the very least draw with prompts. In Word (or some other text software, set up a document with these settings: landscape, 8.5×11, 1/2″ margin, two columns.
Click on the page border and select a wide border from the “art” section. Change the color to dad’s favorite, and make the width at least 25 pt.
Next, add some WordArt on BOTH sides of the page. Put one on the top left corner, and one on the top right corner. I say WordArt because it’s quick and has decent designs. So you can look all fancy without spending too much time. I will list some page titles in a moment, but for now it’s all about setting the pages up. You can do the same WordArt on each side, or different settings. Next, duplicate the page for as many pages as you would want. You’ll print this front and back, so you want at least 2 pages. I don’t recommend more than 10 pages (5 front and back) because it will be harder to put together. Adjust the WordArt to say different things for each page, and you can even move them to be in the bottom corners. Just make sure the WordArt stays small enough to stay in the columns, and is next to the side border.
Here’s a list of some titles to use:
- My Dad and Me!
- Why I Love Daddy:
- My Favorite Things About Daddy:
- How We Are The Same:
- How We Are Different:
- Dad Always Says:
- If Dad Was A Super Hero, He Would Be: (and somewhere else on the page) Because…
- What I Like To Do With Dad:
- I Like When My Dad Takes Me:
Print off the pages double sided. Take a piece of construction paper and fold all of the pages in half. Put them inside each other for a book and use the construction paper as the cover. You can bind it a couple ways: use a thin bead of glue between pages on the seam, staple on the very edge of the book, or take a needle and thread and make a seam along the seam.
If you use glue let it dry for a few hours. Give the book to your kids and have them decorate the cover, fill in and draw on the pages, and (if you’re feeling up to it) paste a picture of your kids and dad to the cover or inside page.
If making the book seems too daunting, simply add these titles to the top and bottom of blank pages to print off. Cut them in half. Then cut additional pages in half to put behind the titles (one blank page after each title page). Cut construction paper in half, align the stack of paper and staple the edge. Let them decorate. Still a keepsake, but last minute is last minute.
Okay. It’s like the best fall back in the world. BUT there are multiple ways and things you can do. Plates, potted plants, t-shirts, pictures, and so on. Here are some mugs for coffee drinkers.
The Handprint Mug A
(This works best with one child.) Go get a solid white mug (thank you dollar store), and a pack of oil based Sharpie Paint Pens from a craft store. Also get contact paper, clear or decorated it doesn’t matter here.
Put the child’s hand on the contact paper and trace it. Cut out the handprint.
Place the cutout on the mug as though the child is holding it (think snuggling with cocoa in winter here), but leave the backing on it for now. Once you have the hand positioned exactly where you want it, hold the cutout on the fingers firmly. Starting with the heel of the hand, peel off the backing and stick it to the mug. From there, the contact paper will hold the cutout and you can peel the rest off. Be sure to really stick the contact paper by going over it with a popsicle stick, the corner of the handle of silverware, or one of those scrappers you get with stoneware.
Take a 2″ strip of contact paper and cover about 1/2″ of the outside rim, and fold the rest into the mug. This will keep the marker from getting where you put your lips. Stuff some newspaper into the mug to eliminate slipping with the marker inside.
Put an old t-shirt or smock on your kid and let them go crazy with the sharpies on the mug. I highly suggest not leaving the scene AT ALL…because they’ll be totally content coloring just the mug until you leave, then suddenly using sharpie on their brother, dog, or your couch will be an excellent idea to them.
After your Michelangelo is finished, peel off all the contact paper to reveal negative space with their hand and the rim. Write a note, or simply the year on the bottom. Let it dry for 24 hours. Once 24 hours has passed place them in a cold oven (this is important! you want them to heat up with the oven). Turn the oven to 400 degrees and set a timer for 40 minutes. After the 40 minutes is up, turn the oven off and leave the cups to cool with the oven. Once they’re cool they’re ready to use! But sadly, you can’t wash them in the dishwasher.
The Handprint Mug B
(Great for two to three kids) This one is also better for slightly older kids because of placement. It WILL take a few hours for dry time though…
Get your plain white mug, and some Porcelain Paint. Have each child use a different color (very different like blue and green, not multiple shades of blue) and paint their hand. Have your oldest go first and put their hand on the mug like the winter-snuggles thing. Let it dry, or use a hair dryer to dry it a little quicker.
Have your middle child paint their hand with a different color and place it on top of the oldest…like the winter-snuggles. Repeat the dryer.
After all kids are finished, and perhaps you’ve painted your note and year, let it dry for 24 hours. After your 24 hours are up, put your mug in a 350 degree oven for thirty minutes on a bake sheet. Baking the ceramic this way seals the paint to the mug so that it will not wash off. It’s SUPPOSED to be top shelf dishwasher safe, but I wouldn’t chance it and keep this as a hand wash too.
5) Modge Podge Blocks
This one you can do one of two ways. The first is to get three wooden blocks from your craft store (D-A-D), Modge Podge, a sponge brush, a colored paint with thin brush, and some printed pictures on cardstock that are the same size as the blocks.
Tip: You will need at least 15 pictures to cover 5 sides of each block. If you want to write the date or a note you’ll need one less picture for each side you want lettering on instead.
Lay the pictures out on your computer and make sure the main part of the picture is centered where you will cut to fit the block. Make it slightly smaller than the block. Print off the pictures and cut them out.
Paint the letters on one side of each block. One letter per block. If you plan on writing the date or note, do this next. Let each dry before starting the pictures. Next, use the Modge Podge to glue and seal the pictures on each side of the blocks. Only cover two or three sides at a time to let them dry fully. Once you have all the sides covered, do one more coat over the full block to seal the paint as well.
Use a “cube template” like this one to glue pictures to before you cut it out and glue it together. Use cardstock so that it’s sturdier. Be sure to make the pictures smaller than the sides so the edges stay glued. This one definitely doesn’t have the lasting power as the wood, but if you don’t have time to go to the craft store this is still a great option.
There you go! If you use any of these ideas be sure to share your pictures with us here or on any of our social pages! But don’t forget, loving on dad and showing him you think he’s the best dad ever is truly the best gift!